RUSH: Eric in Concord, North Carolina. Welcome to the EIB Network, sir. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush. This is going to be hard. This is going to be a rough call for you. I know you like to look good, but you’ll probably look bad here in a moment.
CALLER: This is not good. You won’t like me. I am a born-again, evangelical Christian also, and one thing that I’ll say: You said that you feel that Christians are either — have been either betrayed or been — Mike Huckabee has been dishonest towards them. I want to say that I feel that you, Rush, have betrayed the evangelical base. You have been one of our greatest supporters over the years, the great — the person we have looked to in many, many ways, and I will say that because of what I call some outright lies and distortion…. You called them Club for Growth. I call them Club You to Death Through Growing Lies. There are some things that they have been very deceitful about. Your previous caller two callers before me, is spouting the statements from Club for Growth about saying Mike Huckabee is against school choice, which is an outright lie — and I’ll prove it in a moment. But one thing is, the Home School Legal Defense, they support this guy. Now, they’re not idiots; they’re not fools. They know their issues, and they know what they stand for. There’s a difference between school choice and school vouchers. Club for Growth, if they look through it, they twist those two, and most people don’t know there’s a difference between the two.
The main thing is Mike Huckabee is totally for school choice. He’s totally for school — for charter schools, and he is one of the biggest, most ardent defenders of evolution that you’ll ever — not evolution, but creationism that you’ll ever — find here, Rush. Now, I can go through a whole list of places where you have really distorted the truth. Now, you’ve had a lot of people call in, calling themselves Christians, which is fine, who have supported Huckabee, but you’ve only given them the platform to spout their defense for his positions on — against homosexuality and — and — and his pro-life stance. But there are a lot of things that you are leaving out because the ‘Club for Growing Lies,’ as I’ll even call them, are distorting the real truth about this guy, because there has been a vicious war for years between secular conservatives and the religious right conservatives. They hate religious right conservatives, and you know good and well that’s true. Now, let me go through a litany. If you would allow me to do what you have not permitted…
RUSH: Hang on here just a sec because I got a commercial break coming up in a mere matter of broadcast seconds. I’ll hold you over through the break since you feel so wronged. I just want to tell you: I have not read one word about what the Club for Growth has said about Mike Huckabee, so I’m not quoting them. Put that in your hat.
RUSH: Back to Concord, North Carolina. Eric, you started out with great promise, man. You’re a little bit off the rails now. Let’s get it back on track.
CALLER: All right. First of all, how am I off the rails?
RUSH: Well, you’re railing away here in sort of a maniacal fashion about this. Do you want to talk about me or do you want to talk about Huckabee?
CALLER: Well, both, really. Number one, I want to just talk — straighten out some — some outright distortions, either — I conclude, either, Rush, you’ve been duped or you’re being deceitful. I hate if it’s the latter. I know it’s not the latter. I just want to say because of the —
RUSH: Wait, Eric. One thing here.
RUSH: I haven’t been duped, and I’m not trying to be deceitful.
RUSH: And I also know that I can’t talk you out of what you believe and I’m not even going to try. I’m just telling people what I think and what I observe. You can throw it out the window. You can get upset all you want.
RUSH: Many people, many people are now eating dirt who tried to fool me.
CALLER: Okay. Well —
RUSH: Just don’t fool yourself.
CALLER: Okay, well, I mean I’m trying to stay levelheaded, too. We can both agree to disagree on some things, but one thing I want to say is, there are some nuances that are being left out in this, and because of the Club for Growth and the way they are, they’ve distorted the truth about a lot of things about Huckabee. There are some things they said that are true. I’m not disputing that. I’ve literally, because of you, because of what’s going on since December, I literally spent many, many hours — I’m ashamed to tell you how many hours I’ve done — just going through like a fine-toothed comb, trying to find out: ‘What’s going on here with this situation?’ For example, let’s look at that before I get to this other stuff we just talked about —
RUSH: No, get to one thing. Just get to one thing and let’s deal with that.
CALLER: Let’s get to this one thing right now. Neal Boortz. Neal Boortz is no fool. Neal Boortz, he knows what he believes. He’s passionate about taxes. All right? Now, Neal Boortz. Why in the world would Neal Boortz, a Libertarian, support Mike Huckabee? One of the main reasons, Rush, is because of Mike Huckabee’s stand on taxes. What the Club for Growth has done and what Mitt Romney does, is they try to use his positions, some of the tax increases that he took in Arkansas, to use against him. We don’t talk about Mitt Romney’s numerous tax increases and fees, but — but the point is, the reason why, when you look at the FairTax, there are only four guys on that platform and Republicans who support it: Hunker — I mean Hunter, Huckabee, Keyes, and Ron Paul. When you look at the Americans for Tax Reform, only Thompson and McCain refused to sign the pledge! Now, that should tell you something here. Now, why is it that this FairTax is so crucial to things? This is why Christians conservatives love this. If we can get rid of this tax code that is so burdensome and onerous — which is what Huckabee is totally about; you’re not saying one thing about that. You want to say he’s a ‘populist,’ but you don’t want to defend him for the stand that —
RUSH: He is!
CALLER: Okay, that’s fine.
RUSH: He is! It’s not a crime! Boy, you call these people ‘populists,’ and they get all defensive about it. It’s not a crime. Okay, so the FairTax. That’s the one thing. I know about the FairTax. John Linder and Neal — who is a good friend of mine, by the way, Neal Boortz — wrote the book on the FairTax, and I know that Huckabee is in favor of the FairTax. I know the FairTax doesn’t have a prayer, but Huckabee, when answering questions about this says, ‘Well, it may not have a prayer but it’s never going to have a chance unless we have a president who can lead the American people and get it for them, because the American people get what they want, that’s what he’s saying,’ and I admire that, by the way. I admire people who are willing to talk to the American people over the heads of the media, over the heads of everybody else, and try to inspire them and so forth and get them to be educated and informed. Reagan had the ability to do this. Look, I learned in 1992, Eric. This election is a verbatim replay of six months of 1992 when Perot got involved. I refused to get on board, and Perot people were calling me, hassling me, saying, ‘Hey, Perot is your guy! You ought to be leading the Perot movement. Perot is exactly what we’re talking about.’
I stood fast, and said, ‘No. Instincts tell me something else.’ It turned out I was right. People began to call, apologize, wanted forgiveness and all that — which, of course, I gracefully granted, as I will later on this year when similar things happen. I’m not going to try to talk you out of it. That’s not the point. But at the same time, I spent a very focused weekend here because I was in a funk. I was in a funk since Friday’s show. Friday’s show was, in my mind, the worst show that I can remember having presided over in ten years. I was embarrassed about it. I went home, and I was literally in a funk all weekend. I spent the whole weekend, and I did not leave the house again. After seven days of not leaving the house over the Christmas break, I didn’t leave the house over the weekend. I didn’t talk to a soul. I had a couple instant message conversations with people I watched the football games with, but I got very introspective about all this and where it’s headed, and I did a lot of serious thinking about it, and then I watched all this political TV, which I haven’t been doing a lot of, and it helped focus me on what is necessary here, and it helped me to focus on what I view the purpose of this program is, and the purpose of this program is, there are many and varied purposes, but ‘My Success is Not Determined by Who Wins Elections.’
So it’s not about that. I think Mrs. Clinton is even copying me when she gets these crocodile tears today and talks about it’s the country she cares about and the future of the country, while using the personal pronoun ‘I’ all over the place! ‘I have so many (crying) opportunities (crying) for America.’ She doesn’t present one opportunity to anybody except herself! I care deeply about the future of the country, too, and if there are things out there that I see that I think pose a problem that are destructive to the coalition on the conservative side that has the best chance of seeing this country and its people realize it and their full potential, then I’m going to discuss it. But I’m not going to try to talk you out of anything because I know I can’t. It’s not possible. You have attachments to the Huckabee campaign, Eric, that are immune from anything I might try. I’m not trying to separate anybody from anybody here. But at the same time I’m going to tell you what I see and what I think and what I know to be true — and if it hurts, if you think I’m ganging up on your guy, tough toenails. That’s not what I’m doing here. But I don’t think McCain is conservative, and I don’t want to relive the first hour. The first hour is a brilliant hour, is a great hour. It lives on its own; it will be up at RushLimbaugh.com later this afternoon. If you missed it, you can read the transcript or listen to it on streaming audio or what have you. I want to move on to Chad in Savannah, Georgia. Chad, nice to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Mega dittos, Rush.
RUSH: Thank you, sir.
CALLER: I called… This is a very hard thing for me to do. I’ve been a huge fan of yours since 1991 when I was a young skull full of mush at Liberty University, but I’ve been very disappointed with you and with, frankly, a lot of other heroes of mine and the way they’ve taken down Huckabee here I feel like, in the last month. And let me tell you why I think the evangelicals are going to continue to support this guy, despite the fact that a lot of the people we look to for leadership are not. Number one, I don’t think we can support Romney or Giuliani because of their pro-life — their pro-choice positions in the past, which now Romney’s switched to pro-life, Giuliani has not. The Second Amendment is a big deal to a lot of us, especially down here in Georgia and throughout the area, and Giuliani and Romney have been miserable on the Second Amendment. And clearly with Giuliani, frankly a lot of us see the issues that we destroyed Bill Clinton for — we hoped to destroy him for — with Giuliani, and that is, you know, infidelity while he’s in office. Think of Bill Clinton and the Arkansas state troopers and how we went after them over, you know, the things that went on there, and evangelicals are not going to gel around these people. We’re looking for someone who we feel is a true conservative.
RUSH: Well, wait a second. Wait a second. I have no brief for Rudy Giuliani here, but you can’t compare Rudy Giuliani and Bill Clinton and the Arkansas State Troopers. Giuliani’s expenses incurred by the NYPD driving around out to the Hamptons and so forth, has been totally explained fully and exonerated. There was no crime. There was no inappropriate behavior. There was nothing even off the center of the track on this. I know where you’re coming from here, and you think that I’m blowing the conservative Reagan coalition, and I’m trying to save it.
CALLER: Well, Rush, do you really think the evangelicals are going to go for either Romney or Giuliani with a lot of the issues that they’ve stood up — not only held, but have. Yet Rudy for instance…
RUSH: You really don’t want me to answer this. You really don’t want me to answer this. You really do not want me to answer this. Do not ask that question again, because I might answer it, and you don’t want my answer.
CALLER: Well, Rush, there are millions of people who are looking for a real conservative, and, I’m sorry, but it’s not Romney and it is not Giuliani.
RUSH: Okay. Let me ask you a question.
RUSH: Eight weeks ago, two months ago, what did you know about Mike Huckabee?
CALLER: I’ve known about Mike Huckabee for a while. I’ve followed him for a while. I knew he had served ten and a half years as governor of Arkansas. I knew he had been a Baptist preacher before that.
RUSH: Well, you’re an exception. Eight weeks ago, nobody knew what Huckabee had done for ten years in Arkansas. Now we know a little bit more, and when we get into it, you know, if I don’t embrace all the candidates’ non-conservative positions there’s something wrong with me and everybody else who don’t agree! So Huckabee supports the FairTax. Why didn’t he support the net tax cuts when he was a governor? Is it a fair question, or are we not allowed to ask this? There have been all kinds of things that we learned about Huckabee here that we didn’t know eight weeks ago, and so we’re now starting to learn some of these things, and if I don’t embrace all of them, I’m the bad guy.
CALLER: Rush, I think it’s fine to look back at his record, but then you don’t want to look back at Rudy’s and Mitt’s records in the past. You want to say, ‘Well, everything is good now with them.’ You gotta play it both ways.
RUSH: Have you heard me proclaim either of these people to be a conservative?
CALLER: You have said in the past that you liked Thompson, Mitt, and Rudy. You’ve lifted them up in the people that are around.
RUSH: Have you heard me say that ‘there is no Reagan conservative in this race’?
RUSH: All right. Fini! I’m not calling any of them perfect.
CALLER: (silence) Well, I just feel like you’re really piling on Huckabee along with a lot of other people, and I feel like he’s got a lot more conservative points to him than some of these other people.
RUSH: (sigh) Okay. I understand. (sigh) He’s not.
RUSH: All right, ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to take the gloves off here for just a second. Welcome back, by the way, to the Rush Limbaugh program and the EIB Network. We’re getting a lot of people calling here, claiming to speak for all evangelicals. Even Huckabee himself said on Fox yesterday that he did not get all of the evangelical vote in Iowa. It is not true to say that the evangelical vote in this country is monolithic and in total support of Mike Huckabee. If you want to call and speak for yourself, feel free to do so. Most of the pro-life groups out there, by the way, not groups of religious people, but most of the pro-life groups happen to be supporting Fred Thompson. In another thing, we had a guy, Eric from North Carolina, who called and said and that the Home School Legal Defense Association endorsed Huckabee. That’s not true. One of their top dogs did, a guy named Michael Farris, but the association did not. You can go through their website and you will find a lot of critical articles on Huckabee, re: home schooling. They had a press release saying that Farris’ endorsement is not an endorsement from them. This is a guy that accused me of deceiving people. You can call here, you can say what you want, but be very careful, because I am an encyclopedia. If you’re going to start making claims here, we’re going to find out about it.
My question for you evangelicals is this: If you’re looking for a real conservative, why are you supporting Huckabee? He’s completely discredited himself. What about Fred Thompson, if you’re looking for a real conservative? Huckabee is constantly engaging in class warfare against the producers. This laid-off line, it’s an attack on Romney, but it’s an attack on producers. It’s an attack on employers. It’s pure populism. He does oppose school choice! You don’t get the NEA endorsement in New Hampshire by supporting school choice. I think I know what is happening here, Mr. Snerdley, who is the official screener of calls here today. I think that the Huckabee campaign has finally figured it out. I think that we’ve got behind-the-scenes advisors in some cases calling in here, and advisors are having some of their people call in here.
I’m not getting inundated here from the Ron Paul crowd; I’m not getting inundated from the McCain crowd, or by the McCain crowd. If you Hucksters think that I have been a little unfair and a little bit hard on Governor Huckabee, I’m equally as hard on Senator McCain, but we’re not hearing from any of his people. I really think here that what’s happening is sort of an organized campaign from the Huckabee people here to try to get to the program and refute what I’m saying. I’ve talked about Rudy and social issues as well as Romney and some of his flip-flops in these things. I happen to think, if you want to close the loop here, I opened the program talking about last night’s forum in particular. If you want to know, in my opinion, who shined, it was Thompson and Romney. To me it was no contest. The problem with Thompson is, and a little bit with me, is I’m a depth guy. I like depth. Television doesn’t reward depth. Television rewards zingers, one-liners, cutesyisms. Fred Thompson produced a brilliant 17-minute video that was on YouTube that explains everything about every issue that he cares about. It’s clear he’s thought deeply about a whole lot. He got into Social Security reform last night, that was awesome and totally called for, but something he couldn’t say in 30 seconds. Romney looked like last night he actually wants to win this thing, making a big move to New Hampshire.
RUSH: Ladies and gentlemen, I have been thinking since this recent spate of callers from Huckabee supporters, which started about 50 minutes ago, 45 to 50 minutes ago, thought about it long and hard during the break, even been thinking about it here while doing other things opening this hour’s monologue segment. I want to say to you Huckabee supporters that you’ve convinced me. I have been convinced. I’ve been convinced through the power and the brilliance of your arguments made to me here on the phone on this program, today, that Governor Huckabee is a true conservative. He is the only guy who is a true conservative, and I have concluded that I am debasing myself and the conservative cause by questioning it. As a matter of fact, Governor Huckabee was right to increase taxes by $500 million in Arkansas. Governor Huckabee was right to offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens. He was right to offer the Mexican government a consulate in Arkansas for one dollar a year. More states should show this kind of compassion. When I learned this, I said, ‘There’s a conservative.’ The Mexican consulate, a dollar a year in Arkansas. He was right to release over one thousand criminals. This is conservative. He is right to oppose school choice. This is conservative. And he was right to accuse President Bush of a bunker mentality and stubbornness in dealing with our enemies. He was right in suggesting that the way to deal with Bin Laden and Zawahiri and other enemies of the United States is to implement the Golden Rule. He was right.
This is, ladies and gentlemen, the new conservatism. It is both Reaganism and post-Reaganism, postmodern Reaganism and after-modern post-Reaganism. I’m sitting here chastising myself. ‘How could I have missed this?’ After 20 years, how could I have missed this? After 20 years it has become clear, after only eight weeks of Governor Huckabee on the scene, I now see the new conservatism: no school choice, $500 million in tax increases, Mexican consulates in states for one dollar a year, in-state tuition to illegal aliens, the new conservatism. And how could all the rest of us, the tens of millions of conservatives who have yet to even vote in these primaries, and the over 60% in Iowa who did not vote for Governor Huckabee, how could we have made such an error? I have seen the light.
RUSH: Dan in Burbank, California. Great to have you with us, sir, on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hello, Rush. Excuse me. I have to just say ‘wow’ to some of the earlier callers’ comments. I’ll comment very quickly. I don’t want to analyze them too much, but it seems to me that they’re confusing what would be associated with evangelical values, conservatism, but unfortunately maybe they’re having an identity politics crisis going on unbeknownst to them, and it may be a veiled attempt to just vote for an evangelical. You know, obviously maybe people think that, but I just wanted to throw it out there. My real comment is, this morning I resound absolutely with everything you said about the debate last night, and I just think it was pretty obvious who came out more conservative, who came out more clear and strong and I appreciate your comments on the Clinton campaign as well. I just think, contrary to those earlier callers, you have a bias that’s more for the truth instead of a bias for identical politics or any of the above.
RUSH: Now, wait. Which callers you talking about, Huckabee callers?
CALLER: Yeah, I think they kind of got together, like you said, and, you know, decided to blow up your phone this morning, but —
RUSH: Well, I can’t blame ’em. I mean, they have the sense that their candidate’s under attack, and I can’t blame ’em for calling here and trying to set the record straight, and we give them the chance when they get through, and nobody can accuse us of denying Huckabee supporters an opportunity to appear on the program. Dan, thanks for the call. One thing about what Governor Huckabee said here in a recent sound bite that we just aired is, ‘I want to make government work.’ Now, that, on one hand, it can seem pretty innocuous, but that to me was a red flag. I’m not interested in government working. I’m interested in government getting out of the way. That’s how it works as far as I’m concerned. I’m not really into people that want to get involved in the process of government. One of the greatest process-of-government guys who ever walked down the street was Michael Dukakis. One of the greatest government process guys who ever walked down the street was Bill Clinton. One of the greatest government process guys to ever walk down the street was John Kerry, the haughty Senator from Massachusetts who served in Vietnam. The objective of making government work, I can see how it might be positive if your objective is to get it to do less and to do it more efficiently.
Michael in Indianapolis, welcome to the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: Hi, Rush.
CALLER: This is just incredible. I’ve been listening to you ever since you went on WAM radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. But, Rush, first of all, I want to say, for the record, that you have never attacked Mike Huckabee. I want to say for the record that you are not an entertainer. Are you there?
RUSH: I’m here.
CALLER: Oh, okay. You have changed my life. I used to think that when you say, ‘On loan from God, talent on loan from God,’ that you were egotistical and everything. After listening to you for four hours a day for four years, I realized that there is real humility in that statement.
RUSH: Thank you, but it’s three. If you’re getting four, I want to know who’s impersonating me on the other one.
CALLER: Well, I start listening to you at 12 o’clock on the computer, and up until just recently in Indianapolis they delayed the program so I listened to you until four o’clock.
RUSH: Okay, I get it, so you get it again.
CALLER: Yeah. So you’ve been very good for me.
RUSH: I appreciate that.
CALLER: I would never, never, never even think of telling you that you are wrong.
CALLER: No. No, but.
RUSH: Okay. (laughing)
CALLER: I do believe that in your analysis that you have made some mistakes. And I apologize. I had several screens up on my laptop and my battery died, so I’m going to have to go off of memory. I would invite you and all of your listeners to go to MikeHuckabee.com, go to two areas, The Truth Squad and the Issues area. And like I say, I’m going off of memory now, okay? But Mike Huckabee is governor, they cut taxes, I think it was 94 times, eliminated the capital gains tax on the sale of a home, cut the capital gains tax rate, the sales tax is 1% higher when he left office than when he came in.
RUSH: You may have missed it moments ago when I endorsed Governor Huckabee’s new brand of conservatism–
CALLER: Yeah, that was no endorsement.
RUSH: — tax increases of $500 million and so forth, net-net. This is the new conservatism. I’ve seen the light. I understand it. Illegal aliens getting amnesty and —
CALLER: That’s not true.
RUSH: — tuition.
CALLER: No, that’s not true.
RUSH: Well, you’re destroying me here, because this is the new conservatism.
CALLER: Now, Rush. He never took it and promoted in-state tuition for illegals. He proposed taking a merit scholarship program and expanding it to students who had been raised in the Arkansas school system, that they would be allowed to receive a merit scholarship. That program, had it been instituted, would have affected about 30 students. It was not instituted. The Club for Growth, now, just listen —
RUSH: Do you realize no — I’m getting e-mails from, ‘Who is the Club for Growth?’ I happen to know what it is, but you guys have Club for Growth on the brain here.
CALLER: Okay. Well the Club for Growth has run several ads against Governor Huckabee. I’m sure you’ve seen the —
RUSH: I haven’t. I haven’t.
RUSH: I have not seen the Club for Growth’s ads, I’ve not read — I know Stephen Moore who heads up the Club for Growth. (interruption) Oh, Stephen Moore is not in the Club — okay, that’s how much I know about it, the guy I thought running it has been gone for two years, his name is Stephen Moore. What is he, at some think tank or something?
CALLER: Well, he’s the political rival —
RUSH: Started a new thing. Then, see, a good guy left the Club for Growth and some bunch of perverts has taken over attacking Huckabee and the new conservatism.
CALLER: Okay. First of all, would you do me two favors, Rush?
CALLER: Okay? Number one, I think it would be very helpful for your listeners if you did a Limbaugh Letter and, you know, had your set of questions and asked each of the candidates to put their viewpoints right next to each other. Okay?
RUSH: Yeah? Yeah. We’re making notes.
CALLER: Then, second thing I would like you to do is, in a real clear, concise manner, and not the new conservatism, but your conservatism, lay out exactly what conservatism is.
RUSH: Hmm. You know, now, that is interesting, because, see, I think I do that every day. But, do I do it in list form? I think I define it each and every day, and I have for 19-plus years. But if it needs to be done in a different format, in a different way, I would be happy to do it. That’s what I tried to do Friday, go back to the basics because I think conservatism is being distorted, bent, shaped, flaked, and formed in ways here that, if we’re not careful, real conservatism is not going to be recognizable anymore because going to be redefined by all these people that are trying to say they are it, when they’re not.